I honestly feel like a lot of the conflict that happens between people can be boiled down to the fact that everyone sees the world differently. I find that most people (whether or not WE think they’re right or wrong) feel justified in their actions based on their perception of the situation. It’s like that old saying about there being three sides to every story: my side, your side and what actually happened.
The way we operate out in the world is based on our perception. When sharing our stories we tend to emphasize the points that reinforce our perception. Much conflict arises from trying to convince others that our view is correct, but the truth is it isn’t. You can never really be sure what is motivating other people. More often than not there are going to be factors affecting an event that you don’t fully understand. The way we respond to our perception can lead to a cycle of mixed messages that neither party fully understands.
One of the most important lessons I have learned is that what you see of a person is likely 5% of what they’re actually going through. Everyone kind of has a front they put up to endure their responsibilities despite adversity. Some crack jokes, others get snappy, personally, I get to the point where I cry over burnt toast. Some people have a great game face, others… not so much. Take a second to think of how little the average person in your life really knows about you. I mean REALLY, about your past, your goals, your struggles, your fears, your imperfections. Now reflect that outwards and that’s how little you know about the people surrounding you.
When you come up against conflict take a second to find out what is motivating the other person’s response. There might be a misconception that can be cleared up pretty easily. A word of caution: sometimes a person is being a jerk because their life is hard and sometimes a bully is just a bully. On occasion, no amount of talking is going to change the colour of someone’s glasses. We can explain where we’re coming from but that doesn’t always mean that the other person will be willing to listen. Sometimes the way people perceive us is totally wrong and no amount of talking in the world is going to change that. In those cases, it’s better to save your words for a time that they can be productive.